Smoke rings on the 8.04

Market trader Peter Boddington has until nine o' clock tomorrow morning to stub out his cigarette on the Brighton to London train - or go to jail.

Connex South Central, the French train-operating company, has demanded a written undertaking from the 60-a-day Rothmans smoker that he will never again light up on his way to work.

Solicitors acting for the company want him to sign a binding agreement not to smoke "at any time, or in any circumstances" or carry a lighted cigarette, cigar or pipe on its trains.

If Mr Boddington refuses, Connex will seek an injunction forbidding him to smoke, and British Transport Police would be empowered to arrest him for breaching the court ruling.

"I know I might end up in jail but I am not going to sign their piece of paper," he said defiantly yesterday. The smoking ban was imposed five years ago, and Mr Boddington has defied it ever since. "As I have an annual season ticket to travel on the Brighton to Victoria train which cost me pounds 2,460, I think it's a case of I've got a ticket to ride - but they don't care."

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